The Well in the Desert
The action takes place at the end of the fourteenth century and the start of the fifteenth. It deals largely with a family connected with Arundel in Sussex. They seem to have been rather nasty people, highly motivated by greed and desire for even higher stations in life. They were fairly well-placed by today's standards, being closely related to various of the Kings of England of the day. Some of the women in the story are quite as bad as many of the men.
When these wicked people had done their wicked deeds there were often unfortunate children, dispossessed or forgotten in some attic of the castle. One of these is the heroine of this story. She had never been told who or where her mother was. By a series of coincidences she comes across the name of a person who may know the answers to these questions. I will not spoil the story for you by telling you any more.
Throughout the book there is constant reference to Christ as the Well, the supplier of the vital Water of Life. Christianity was in a terrible mess at the time, with numerous sects, and with the members of any one sect feeling free to execute by any means the members of any other sect. There's plainly a modern parallel here.
On the whole the story is based on fact and on valuable contemporary records. When Miss Holt wrote the story it seemed likely that Philippa, the central figure, was accurately represented. Unfortunately, after the book was complete it was found that she could never have existed, so the poor authoress had to present her book as it stands, with an apology at the end.
The PDF version is constructed from 300 dpi scans. To get best value set "Use Logical Page Numbers" to "ON" in Edit/Preferences/Page Display of your PDF viewer. To obtain the ZIP file find the area on the left of this page which has PDF and TXT in it, and click on FTP. The larger of the two TXT files is what you need to read the book using yBook. To create an audiobook, using for instance Text Aloud MP3, download the ZIP file and unpack it. The smaller of the two TXT files contains full instructions for creating audiobooks.
Uploaded by Nick Hodson on